Who we are
Gawthorpe Hall is a superb 17th century Elizabethan historic house, nestled in the shadow of Pendle Hill at the heart of Pennine Lancashire. Built between 1600 and 1605, the house was home to the Shuttleworth family for over three hundred years and has played an iconic role in the local area. Meet the butler and housekeeper and let them take your pupils back in time to the life of a large Victorian family and their home, taking part in hands-on activities such as setting the table correctly and laying a fire. Pupils can see period Victorian rooms showing what life was like for the family in the 1890s and designed by the architect of the Houses of Parliament, Sir Charles Barry, learn about the original seventeenth century panelling and plasterwork in the Drawing Room and enjoy the splendour of the impressive Long Gallery. Pupils can also engage with one of the biggest collections of paintings on loan from the National Portrait Gallery in the North West. Over 20 paintings illustrate Gawthorpe Hall’s fascinating connections and history, particularly with the English Civil War, and pupils can enjoy a session interpreting the hidden meanings in the paintings and exploring the use of symbolism in historic portraits. This year there is an exciting Contemporary Heritage installation at Gawthorpe Hall, developed by Mid Pennine Arts and artist Catherine Bertola, based on Victorian camera obscuras where visitors can look into the lens and see a view of how the Hall used to look, enlivened by contemporary figures reflecting an aspect of the Hall's history! Gawthorpe Textiles Collection Gawthorpe Hall is home to the fabulous Gawthorpe Textiles Collection, comprising over 200 pieces across five galleries. This museums accredited collection was amassed by Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth, the last member of the Shuttleworth family to live at the Hall. The collection includes quilts, costume, lace, samplers and embroidery from all over the world. Miss Rachel turned her ancestral home into a Craft House to keep alive the textile skills and techniques she feared were being lost, believing that craft can improve people’s quality of life. Pupils can now engage with hands on activities inspired by the collection, including an amazing mid 19th century soldier’s quilt, pieced from uniforms by Sgt. John Hull of the Staffordshire regiment while convalescing in Hong Kong. Tailored school visits can be arranged that are designed to reinforce classroom learning and complement the curriculum, particularly History, Art and Craft related topics.